It took less than a day for the 2017 MLB season to join the rest of the country in political discussion. During the Washington Nationals’ Opening Day skirmish with the Miami Marlins, fans at Nationals Park unfurled a giant “Impeach Trump #Resist” banner.
Trump had been invited by the Nationals to throw the first pitch during Opening Day, a Presidential tradition that many commanders-in-chief had participated in, including Barack Obama. The invitation was met with criticism by fans of the sport, given Trump’s comments about Latinos (MLB is roughly 30% Latino) and his tumultuous first 2-plus months in office. Washington D.C. was specifically anti-Trump during the election, as the district only gave him 4.1% of their votes.
The banner was dropped at the end of the game, which was the first since Trump took office in January. While there’s no word on any group behind the protest, it’s likely to be only the first of many this season, as America’s pastime grapples with the dichotomy of being a sport born out of whiteness while also attempting to grow into a truly global entity.
Baseball has traditionally not had the most politically active of fanbases, but there is precedent for a protest at the ballpark. The most recent example took place during last year’s World Series, when determined Cleveland fans protested the team’s continued use of the “Indians” name and, specifically, the racist iconography of Chief Wahoo.